As millions of shoppers were forced to go online due to regional lockdown because of the pandemic, new customer habits got formed. Now we see few established brands closing stores and focusing on selling online; but brick-and-mortar stores aren’t dead yet. Carefully cultivating the in-store experience is key to drawing customers back. Retail companies that act now to mitigate #Covid19 risks while delivering distinctive human-centric experience can emerge from the pandemic with stronger operational resilience, more agile organizations and sustainable competitive advantage.
Moreover, the impact of changing customer behavior is not just on the retail industries, it is also on all those manufacturing companies (such OTC medicines, herbals & supplements, cosmetics & personal products, packaged foods, others) that produce goods which retail companies sell.
How to increase sales in the new normal?
1. Identify interactions: Collate all types of interactions that happen while conducting your business. Then classify those interactions into three categories-(a) Employee-to-employee, (b) Employee-to-customer and (c) Customer-to-customer. Now use data analytics to create customer persona and product portfolio.
Note that this is a moving target meaning, customer personas change with time. So, make sure that the 'interaction' data capture is continuous.
2. Create customer-centric product line by modifying existing products, develop line-extensions or new products based on the information from step 1. Build an effective innovation strategy and execution modality to gain market share.
Use proven innovation management tools such as TRIZ, DOE, Hoshin, DFSS, DFM, QbD, Design Thinking, Agile etc. to manage your product portfolio.
Note that, using appropriate innovation tools brings-in trifold benefits such as- (i) Creation of customer-centric products, (ii) Speedy product development and (iii) Lower innovation / product development cost. As much as 30-40% cost-savings happen when you employ innovation tools while developing products.
3. Diagnose all types of risks and then prioritize them based on their intensity. You may use a Prioritization Matrix to set-up risk priorities. Further, use risk management tools such as FMEA to prevent or mitigate risks. Once process/ product risk management activity is completed, the next step is to develop effective solutions.
4. Develop solutions that will most affect your products and business at large and begin executing solutions.
5. Adapt and calibrate your product mix as well as business processes to the changing customer persona and market landscape. Having the right product at the right time in front of the buyer is key.
6. Continuously improve your business. That is continuously improve your sales process, technical process and other business processes by using continuous improvement methodologies.
There are eighteen proven continuous improvement techniques you may choose from based your workplace size, culture and demands. Sustainable growth and increased profits are obtained with Lean, Kaizen, Agile and TPM. These methodologies may be used either singly or in combination depending on the process. You may checkout how to choose a business process improvement methodology for your organization here.
In conclusion, rebalancing sales processes coupled with an on-demand customer-centric product mix is the lifeline for survival and growth of manufacturing and service companies today and beyond...
If you need best expertise to help you with your business process improvement goals, sales target, reach out to us.